As you take the bus on an overnight journey to some far away place, you stop where everyone must get down to stretch their legs or relieve themselves or grab a bite of the oily produce of the roadside vendor. While you get down wondering about what you have left behind and what you have waiting for you at the end of the journey – as if journeys end – you catch a glimpse of this extraordinary beauty haunching over a pile of vessels pushing her lovely hair behind her ear as she scrubs a wok. You stare at her wondering whether it is merely an illusion or her loveliness is real. How could someone so lovely be planted in the middle of nowhere scrubbing stained vessels?
The fate of the grand and remarkable placed in oblivion is a rude tragedy which reminds me of wonderful sunrises through which people sleep. How crude a joke when the finest nightingale sings her finest song only to be heard by none! So be it with Shakespeare composing sonnets while mopping the floor of Chittagong railway station or Da Vinci painting remarkable outlines along walls where people aren’t supposed to urinate. Beauty stands insulted and neglected when confined to the amnesia of time. When the nightingale’s song might never have been, what is one to speak of dulcet notes? When a lovely woman is not worshiped by many and stone doesn’t chip itself into a monument for her, what shall we ever know of such beauty? The finest thoughts are so when they come out into the open. The cloaked phenomenon might never have happened. So be it with that sage who spoke to God but died before he could tell anyone about it. He was found on NH73, dogs tugging at his carcass.